When I was in high school, I walked Grandma Penny's red golden retriever, Edie. We'd walk to the field at Mt. Merci so she could run around and do her business. On cold, clear nights in January, the moon would bounce off the ice causing glittery star-like dances in the snow. I remember standing in the field and thinking I never want to forget this memory, so I would stare intensely at nature's prom and try to burn the image in my mind so I would always remember the sparkles and the bright moon. Today, I started doing the same thing because today marks the first of the lasts of my time here with only six days to go. I realized how I feel about this crazy city depends on the weather. Yesterday, I despised it as buckets of relentless rain tsunamied down out of nowhere and prompted me to think I could not wait another week. However, when I woke up this morning, the sun was shining and I could see two volcanoes from my bedroom window and three more from the roof and thought I am not ready to leave yet. I am always surprised by them when the rare clear day opens up the vast skies to reveal their stunning magnificence, especially Cotopaxi. I basked in the hot Andean equatorial sun on my bed where I organized my mess of papers. I felt like a carefree teenager living in the moment with her cd player and markers. Not sure where the good mood came from because I swing from eager anticipation to bittersweet anxiety about my departure. Maybe it is the constant emails regarding events at home I do not look forward to, the distress over being destitute with no job in sight, or maybe it is the sunshine beaming down on me, or the shameless and innocent (sometimes) flirting I partake in with my favorite Ecuadorian friend, or cheering for Liga in a room full of dear friends and Pilseners; I cannot be certain. My thoughts and feelings about Quito change from moment to moment... I guess the only thing I know for sure is I can always come back. In the meantime, I can do my best to imprint unique images in my mind from the volcanoes on a sparkling blue morning to the bustling streets and their "crazy shit" as Ashley so accurately puts it.
I know I haven't really written much about Ecuador or my time here; bear with me. I fear I might unleash a tsunami this summer or even maybe the moment I get off the plane in D.C. (David you are so brave!) As Quiteños so eloquently put it: VIVA QUITO! At least always in my mind right next to January nights in the field.